With total sales of 1,508 million generated by over 30 production and sales units in Europe, Asia and America, RadiciGroup closed its 2021 financial year with positive results, despite the difficulties due to the lingering effects of the pandemic and the steep increase in the cost of raw materials and energy, especially during the latter part of the year. The Group - led by brothers Angelo, Maurizio and Paolo Radici - continued to pursue its strategy of focusing on the core businesses considered to be strategic and synergistic, such as nylon chemicals, engineering polymers and advanced textile solutions, while, at the same time, introducing new products, such as a line of personal protective equipment for medical and industrial use.
“The figures recorded in 2021 were good, but certainly very difficult to replicate,” Angelo Radici, president of RadiciGroup, commented. "The reason is that the increase in sales came about more as a result of the “price increase” effect caused by a sharp jump in the cost of raw materials and energy. However, we demonstrated our great ability to react, seizing opportunities that we were able to realize fast and efficiently, with the help of our collaborators at all levels. The year 2022 started off with the entire industrial world facing great difficulties, created by the uncertainties related to the precarious international geopolitical situation. This new state of affairs prevents us from forecasting cost trends, energy and gas in particular, which, in a company like ours, affect both raw materials and processing costs. We entrepreneurs find ourselves dealing with a situation that makes medium- to long-term planning almost impossible. In this context, the second half of 2022 remains a matter of great concern, especially if the negative variables relating to the war - gas and energy costs - do not change. Nevertheless, we can always count on our people, who, even in such adverse circumstances, have been working with great commitment, flexibility and a spirit of adaptation."
Despite this situation, RadiciGroup considers it essential to continue making investments. “In 2021, the Group invested 53 million euros financed from cash flow,” Alessandro Manzoni, CFO of RadiciGroup, emphasized. “There was no impact on net financial position, which registered an improvement over 2020, as did all our balance sheet ratios." Furthermore, in spite of the complexity of the period, in 2022 the Group shareholders have kept on with their significant investment plan aimed at strengthening RadiciGroup’s presence in global markets and improving its competitiveness.
Indeed, the group has moved forward, according to plan, with the acquisition of the Engineering Plastics business of Ester Industries, an India-based company engaged for decades in the production of engineering polymers and listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange. RadiciGroup’s 35 million euros investment in this transaction furthers the internationalization strategy of its High Performance Polymers business area.
“In the Indian market, a strong presence is required to react to growth opportunities in sectors with short and responsive production chains,” Maurizio Radici, vice president and COO of RadiciGroup, said. “From the start, the strategy of our High Performance Polymers business area has been based on working locally in the closest proximity to customers, in order to offer not only products but also prompt and efficient service near to their industrial sites. Presently, the compounding business accounts for one-third of the Group's total sales; it has helped make the Radici name recognized worldwide”.
In exchange for this significant industrial investment, Ester Industries will transfer its main assets, among which: the newly built industrial area in the city of Halol (Gujarat) in Northwest India, compound lines, R&D laboratories, customer/supplier contracts and its leading brand Estoplast, which includes different types of compounds used primarily in the electrical and electronics market.
“This transaction allows RadiciGroup to further strengthen its presence in the Indian market,” Luigi Gerolla, CEO of RadiciGroup High Performance Polymers, pointed out. “Having its own production plant in India, the Group will be able to build on its well-established commercial presence in the country. This site, together with the one under construction in China, is an additional building block to enlarge the group's footprint on the Asian continent and realize its growth potential; it also furthers the group's internationalization strategy.”